This is the most difficult part of any new project, for me: after having designed and seen so many new characters, I use to slowly fall in a kind of berserker fury and I want to make more and more minis, starting that creative phase of mine that I call "the never-enough Matteo".
I think it mostly depends on how we approach our ranges, generally starting from an abstract idea and developing it directly with the many miniatures themselves, in a kind of creative flow that is not planned and set since the beginning, but it evolves (often in unexpected ways!) like a living creature as we create more characters.
I wouldn't recommend you doing what I do, because the risk is to lose somehow the path midway upon the creative journey, but we have no time nor resources to properly set a state-of-the-art process, that basically means to gather good concept designers and materially elaborate all the art direction of the range, then pass all the references and art materials to the sculptors.
In our case, the art direction is made directly on the battlefield and despite it is a route full of terrors and darkness, it's pretty exciting because (at least in my case) it allows me to freely adapt the range with the many new ideas that come in my mind as new characters are made.
It's basically for this reason that I usually mutate in the never-enough Matteo, at some point of the project: every new character gives me new ideas to develop and it's really difficult to stop. Moreover, as we approach the new Kickstarted campaign, I start to fall prey to many doubts and insecurities, like "do people expect more minis than what we have planned?!" or "have we planned enough stretch goals for this campaign?" so I'm constantly tempted to add more stuff to the party, which is not a bad thing per se, but might be financially risky!
The Elven range has grown so nicely, during these last months of work, and despite I have in mind still many characters that probably won't see the light (or at least initially, who knows what will happen during the campaign!), I'm so happy with the overall result that we achieved with these pointy-eared guys and gals!
At this point, we've designed 14 characters, including three enormous kits that each one can easily count as 2 or 3 normal ones (at least for what concerns production costs! XD) and I plan to design 3 more, arriving at a whole range composed by 17 characters (my Italian superstition probably will oblige me to design one more, because 17 is an unfortunate number!).
If you look at raw numbers, you would be led to believe that this is a smaller range than our previous ones, but as I wrote above, those Troll/Tapejara/Green Knight kits are huge! To be more precise, here is how it looks the Elf Guardian kit, divided up for 3dprinting:
This kit, from the lower point to its upper part, is almost 9cm tall (3,6"), a big beast considering that the Iron Titan, actually our biggest kit, is "only" 7cm!
I suddenly realized that the Kazhuk Izril range doesn't have a big kit like these ones: I fear it's a sin I have to make amends for as soon as possible!
Returning to our Elves, as I said before we have almost sculpted all the characters we can afford for this new campaign, and this leads us to the new Elf Archer that we designed!
The Noble Arrow
I consider her like a kind of leader of the Archers team, an apparently highborn Elf who protects her clan with this precious longbow.
I wanted to design an Archer character less stealthy and nobler to see, taking an evident cue from the Kyudo aesthetic. She maintains the iconic details of the other Archers, like the cloak made of leaves and the wooden bow, but everything in her is a bit toned-up: she wears a light armour on her chest, her wardrobe looks more elegant than other Archers and her longbow is more refined and finely decorated.
She's not stealthy as her colleagues, but I still wanted to give her a mysterious vibe, covering her face with the hair and choosing a pose that works better in profile: I think that she still looks elusive and enigmatic, very fascinating indeed!
I particularly like the way Valerio has managed to sculpt the hand that is grabbing the arrow: it looks soft and elegant, like she's caressing the feathers of the arrows, it's a very delicate detail that proves how talented Valerio is: especially in 28mm scale, these sculpting subtleties are not common and, at least in my opinion, this is one of those small, apparently insignificant details that really build the soul of a character!
Last characters and Stretch Goals
The Noble Arrow is obviously not the last character of this range. You can easily see a new one right in the first pic of this post, and more have to be designed yet. I have in mind three characters: a very young Elf girl that would bring the cuteness level of this range at its maximum, an Elf bard and a Gnollin Priest of the Forge.
I think that these characters will perfectly complete the range and, above all, will add more interesting details about the lore (I don't know if you care about, but it's important to me!): we will see another fairy creature, the P'till (basically the opposite of Flonzi), we will see a more civilian character and we will see one of the masters of runic magic.
Of course, talking about the building of Inneath lore, the Stretch Goals line would help to better contextualize the characters in a more defined environment: there will be scenic accessories and bases, more little spirits and genies for your diorama and whatever you want, there will be new animal sets (owls and civets!), dinosaur puppies and a new dog breed (Corgi! Being considered the favourite mount of fairies, I think it's more than appropriate in this range!).
I think that we are slowly creating a solid range, but, as always, the final decision is up to you!